The Low FODMAP diet can be HARD. There is definitely a learning curve when it comes to putting a meal together, but I’ve seen patients be at an absolute loss when it comes to snacking. Luckily, I’ve put together a great list for you so you can take one thing off your plate (pun intended)
Check out my guide to Low FODMAP snacking, which breaks down what makes up a snack, tips for general IBS snacking and 20 sweet & savory options.
What makes up a “snack”?
Table of Contents
Curious what constitutes a snack? Typically, snacks are something you’re eating in between meals. They range in calories from 100-300 and ideally have some type of protein and fiber. Not everyone needs a snack, but if you’re ravenous or just trying to satisfy a craving then trying one of the below options will work for you.
How Does Snacking Impact IBS Symptoms?
Snacking in between meals may make your IBS symptoms better OR worse. The first thing I think about when I have a patient who likes to snack is, what kind of IBS do they have? If you’re dealing with constipation, then snacking in between meals may not be serving you. A larger meal helps to stimulate the gastro colic reflex, so I encourage my patients with IBS-C to try bulking up their meals. This may mean adding whatever they’re typically snacking on to their meal, which is perfectly fine!
If my patient is dealing with diarrhea, then smaller or more frequent meals and snacks may work better for them. As I mentioned above, larger meals tend to stimulate the gastro colic reflex, which people with IBS-D typically don’t need help with!
Finally, I look at what type of symptom relief my patients are getting from the Low FODMAP diet. If it’s been about two weeks and they’re not noticing any improvements in their gas, bloating, abdominal pain and bowel movements, then I look at their meal patterns. Those that are grazing, or snacking frequently, are at risk of something called FODMAP stacking. This basically means that although you’re following the Low FODMAP portion sizes of your meals and snacks, you’re not giving your digestive system enough time to do its job. This means that FODMAP stacking may be occurring in your gut! An easy fix is to spread out your meals by 2-3 hours.
How to find Low FODMAP snacks
Curious if your snack is Low FODMAP? There are a few different ways to figure this out. My first suggestion is to download the Monash FODMAP app. Their food guide is my number one recommendation for anyone starting a Low FODMAP diet. My reasons for this is that they’re the ones who are testing (and re-testing) foods and providing us with the correct portion size. They include everything from types of fruits and vegetables, to “certified” products like snack bars and protein powders.
My second suggestion is to get familiar with reading ingredient lists. They’re on the back of food packages underneath the food label. The eight common allergens are typically highlighted right underneath the ingredient list, so if you see wheat, milk, soy or tree nuts, then you’ll need to dig a little deeper.
A faster way to accomplish this is to download one of two apps that scan ingredient lists for FODMAPs. They are called Spoonful and FIG. These apps are not testing products for FODMAPs, but they are using data to review ingredient lists and tell you if a product is LIKELY high, moderate or low in FODMAPs. Both apps used Monash trained dietitians when building their database (I helped with Spoonful!).
Packaged vs. Homemade: is one better than the other?
I think this question depends on your lifestyle and stress levels! If you are someone who is constantly on the go and not great at preparing ahead of time, then stick with packaged options. If you do have time, then mixing in snacks with fresh produce or making a homemade energy bite would be great.
Now onto the snacks!
- GoMacro bars (Low FODMAP flavors found here)
- Justin’s Peanut Butter Cups
- Enjoy Life Foods Chewy Bars
- Nature Valley Crunchy Peanut Butter Granola Bars
- Two kiwi and a handful of nuts
- Peanut Butter Oat Energy Bites
- Trader Joe’s Sunflower Butter Cups
- Sourdough toast with one Tbsp almond butter and two sliced strawberries. Sprinkle with hemp seed hearts or chia seeds for crunch,
- Lactose free yogurt with a handful of raspberries. I like Fage’s Best Self for Greek, Green Valley Creamery for regular and Silk Vanilla Almond Milk for dairy-free.
- Two cups of Angie’s Sweet & Salty Kettle Corn and a handful of nuts (almond, peanuts, macadamia are all FODMAP friendly)
- Bark Thins Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Seed with Sea Salt and five strawberries
- One date with two tsp peanut butter and a few dark chocolate chips with flaked sea salt (like a snickers bar!). One date is a low fodmap serving
- One plain rice cake with one Tbsp of peanut butter and a sprinkle of cinnamon
- Low FODMAP Tzatziki dip with baby carrots
- Beet Yogurt Dip with Mary’s Gone Real Thin Crackers
- Corn tortilla chips and FODY salsa (the Medium is my favorite!)
- Lactose free Greek yogurt mixed with TJ’s everything but the Elote seasoning, use one mini cucumber to dip.
- Kettle Brand Sea Salt & Vinegar potato chips with a handful of nuts
- Gluten free pretzels with one of the above dips
- Skinny Pop popcorn with a handful of nuts
- One hard boiled egg and half a cup of gluten-free pretzels
- String cheese with a cup of baby carrots
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